Speaking at Georgetown University, Carnegie’s Ashley J. Tellis discussed U.S.-India ties under Trump and Modi. After arguing that the situation is still unclear, he examined three propositions for how the relationship may take shape.
First, he said, it is possible that the world is facing the end of relations centered on strategic altruism. Tellis argued that, for decades, the United States has focused on transforming relations with India on the presumption that a strong India was in American national interest. This worldview may be coming to an end.
Second, Tellis said that, for necessary geopolitical reasons, the relationship will likely persist, but with more irritants. Disagreements over U.S.-Indian economic ties and domestic problems within India will potentially prevent the United states from being as committed to a strong relationship as India.
Third, whether or not the relationship accelerates depends on President Trump and the executive branch, Tellis said. He added that he hopes Washington and New Delhi can find ways to engage in practical measures, like defense cooperation, to secure a stable Asia.